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Computer Numerical Control Operation: Training

Volume 721: debated on Monday 24 October 2022

16. Whether he is taking steps with Cabinet colleagues to ensure greater access in education to training in computer numerical control operation. (901784)

We are investing in programmes that support science, technology and digital skills so that learners of all ages—including my young son, who is up in the Public Gallery supporting mummy today—are equipped to fulfil careers in the likes of computer numerical control operation. We are delivering on that objective through our skills reform programme, which is putting employers at the heart of our skills system.

We need around 1 million more engineers in this country, and among those we need computer numerical control operators, who can earn around £50,000 on the shopfloor. I have engineering businesses in my constituency that are desperate for them. Can we please get on top of ensuring that we have a talent pipeline so that people are well paid and those engineering businesses can flourish?

I understand that things are uncertain, as my hon. Friend’s two colleges are merging at the moment, but the level 3 engineering technician apprenticeships provide CNC content and there are more than 140 providers of that training, including three with national coverage. I would also like to look at our T-levels to ensure that we have some of that content in there too.